10th Year Anniversary: Letter from N.Radha

In celebration of our tenth anniversary, Architecture for Humanity is embarking on a fundraising campaign to support our chapters, grow the Open Architecture Network and bring critical design services to more communities in need. With your support, we can harness the power of the last ten years to make an even greater impact in the next ten years. Join us.

Donate $10 a month and help us bring good design to communities in need for another 10 years.

We’ve gathered a growing collection of letters from some of the many individuals and organizations who have helped give a voice to designing a more sustainable future. We will be featuring a new letter each month throughout the year.

The following is our tryst with Architecture for Humanity to be shared with Friends of AFH.

It was the tsunami in Tamil Nadu, to be precise in Cuddalore that brought us in touch with Architecture for Humanity. We got connected to AFH through the Barefoot College. Tilonia, as the BFC, had been long time partners with AFH. After hearing from Bunker about AFH we got in touch with Cameron with a proposal for Housing, Roof water harvesting and community infrastructure. AFH expressed its commitment to work with LEAD in creating community infrastructure in villages of second line tsunami survivors. Coincidences take place but what has happened with reference to LEAD’s partnership with AFH and the arrival of AFH’s Purnima McCutcheon, as an Architect accompanier was an incredible coincidence. Purnima’s placement in Cuddalore and a commitment of AFH towards LEAD took place very timely, for the trio to work together to accomplish three community centres and a set of boat piers in two dalit settlements and in a fishing community.

The accompaniment was a beautiful experience. When sordid looking concrete structures desired by people, were designed by Engineers and were constructed by government and non governmental organizations, planning for structures which are culturally appropriate, functional and beautiful was a great experience. The community was totally involved in the entire process. Though participatory planning was done in all the structures, the participatory plan was presented in a workshop as a participatory tool kit as Citizens’ Participation Process in Local Governance in Reconstruction after Tsunami. The presentation and the process were very well appreciated. The synchronization of the structure with the environment was a big learning experience. Combination of open and closed space was also appreciated. Use of local materials and cultural sensitivity were the most significant feature of all the structures.

With regards,